How to keep my husband from destroying socks?
March 3, 2005 4:13 PM   Subscribe

My husband destroys socks. Every single pair he owns has holes in them, no matter how old they are. Darning is a neverending chore and buying new socks every week is expensive. Are there any socks that can stand up to him? Or are there any tricks to make his old socks hold together longer?

It's not like he's running marathons or anything. He's a programmer so he spends most of the day sitting at a desk. (His everyday shoes are Docs.) He has the weirdest toes; it's almost like they turn up at the end so his nails actually point up a bit. The upshot is that he can put a hole in a brand new sock within a day. He's already buying the toughest socks we can find. (And at $10 a pair, they're not cheap.) Lately he's been wearing two pairs at once; a thin one inside the thick. Of course, that makes twice as much laundry and he's still creating holes. I'm a knitter so I offered to knit him some super tough wool socks, but he claims that they "make his feet itch" so cotton's the only way to go. He can't be the only person ever to have this problem. Are there any really, really tough yet comfortable socks?
posted by web-goddess to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
And his toenails are kept cut really short?
posted by ajbattrick at 4:18 PM on March 3, 2005


Knit him the socks out of cotton, but use a nylon thread runner through the toes.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:24 PM on March 3, 2005


Have you tried Thorlo?
posted by darkmatter at 4:34 PM on March 3, 2005


My toes also point up. Everyone jokes that I need elf shoes.

Anyway, I don't put too many holes in socks and I just buy plain old thin cotton socks from Zellers. I do put holes in the tops of my slippers and shoes, though. I'm the only person I know who wears holes in the tops of my shoes before wearing the soles.

Maybe different shoes might make the difference...I'm thinking that when our toes point up the toe rubs against the top of the shoe...either the sock will give or the shoe will...Sure shoes cost more, but it will take longer to wear through them?
posted by duck at 4:56 PM on March 3, 2005


What about looser socks, so that there isn't so much friction? You could knit those.
I second jacquilynne, too - knit a nylon thread in with the yarn in the toe.
posted by librarina at 5:01 PM on March 3, 2005


I'm thinking the shoes/docs aren't the right size/fit either. Take him in to be fitted somewhere. My feet move around with each step in some shoes that are too wide, which wears out the socks faster.

And trim the toenails as short as possible--file them too if you have to.
posted by amberglow at 5:07 PM on March 3, 2005


They're $18 a pair, but you can get some socks through Tilley that are "Guaranteed to last three years - or your money back." I go through socks pretty quickly, too (though not $18/pair quickly). I got a pair through my dad's store and they haven't failed in the 2 years I've had them.

I've heard from a few people who have called on the Tilley guarantee for other items. They have always been satisfied the the process is easy and fair.
posted by jaysus chris at 5:30 PM on March 3, 2005


He keeps the nails short, but I don't think he does any more maintenance on them than the average person. I'll see if I can get him to keep an eye on them every day.

Thanks for chiming in, duck. At least now I know he's not the only one! I'm thinking that his choice of shoe has a lot to do with it. They're steel toes, so he's probably getting more friction there than most people do.

The Thorlos that darkmatter pointed me to look good - especially the "safety toe" version - but I can't figure out if they're available in Australia. None of the first few retailers I clicked on seem to deliver here. Anybody know of a local source? (Or, if I PayPal some MeFite some cash, can anybody mail me some?)

In the meantime, I guess I'll dig out my sock pattern and see what I can come up with. I wonder if there would be a way to knit some sort of a "toe cap" kind of thing that I could sew onto the end of his existing socks. It would be faster than knitting whole new pairs...
posted by web-goddess at 5:34 PM on March 3, 2005


The Tilley socks look good, but man, they're expensive! That's well over AU$20 a pair even without the international shipping. Plus even though they say they're "itchless," I can guarantee he'll whinge as soon as he hears they're made of wool.
posted by web-goddess at 5:39 PM on March 3, 2005


My recommendation would be to look into army/military socks, and socks designed for construction workers weaing steel-toed boots (like this or this). Military issue socks would have to be strong to stand up to all that hiking, for all kinds of feet, and the steel-toe work socks will have padding at the toe. Good luck!
posted by taz at 5:49 PM on March 3, 2005


Hi,

I had a similar problem, I walk a lot and tend to wear holes in socks pretty quickly. My solution was to go to an outdoors type store, with lots of walking gear, and buy some very expensive socks.

What I ended up with was a brand of socks called `Possum Weave', which are made in New Zealand and contain silk and possum fur. They are well cushioned and breathe well, too.

The primary drawback is that they are $35 or so a pair. Not cheap, but still the best socks I ever owned. They seem to be very durable as well, I walk two hours a day, and spend the rest of it on my feet at work.

My other recommendation is the `pillow feet' brand, which are very good. They are holeproof or bonds brand, and available in Target and similar places.
posted by tomble at 6:03 PM on March 3, 2005


tomble, can you direct me to a site with those Possum Weave socks? I just did a quick search and couldn't seem to spot them. They sound great.
posted by fionab at 7:56 PM on March 3, 2005


I wonder if there would be a way to knit some sort of a "toe cap" kind of thing that I could sew onto the end of his existing socks.

I normally advocate knitting socks from the toe up for fit reasons, but in your case, definitely knit from the leg down to the toe. Then, when the toe goes, you can just unravel the stitches from the end and re-knit the cap exactly as in your original pattern. If you make the toes a different colour, you needn't worry about having the fading match or the dye lots and you can just keep knitting new toes as required.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:08 PM on March 3, 2005


Another thought on knitting socks, consider using a slip stitch fabric (slip, knit, slip knit, etc) for your toes, at least the top. This creates a much thicker, hardier fabric that'll wear better.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:12 PM on March 3, 2005


It's got to be the shoes. I wore steel capped boots for years and would go through socks faster than I ever did before or after. My current foot diet consists of sneakers and motorcycle boots (no steel toe) and I have noticed the difference.
posted by Corpus Callosum at 8:23 PM on March 3, 2005


Why would a programmer be wearing steel-toed shoes? This is unreasonable.

Get leather shoes and go to a cobbler. Have the toes stretched. They can stretch out specific spots on a shoe. I had this done once due to lumps where my toes were broke.

Also I recommend you get an electric manicure gizmo, and use it to file those nails. My partner wears out socks (and the sheets!) due to dry callouses on his heels. He uses the machine to grind the callouses. I learned it was also handy for my toenails.
posted by Goofyy at 10:39 PM on March 3, 2005


Steel toed shoes do it every time. My husband did the same thing until he quit wearing them, now he goes through socks at an almost normal rate.
posted by SuzySmith at 11:47 PM on March 3, 2005


I'm thinking the shoes/docs aren't the right size/fit either. Take him in to be fitted somewhere. My feet move around with each step in some shoes that are too wide, which wears out the socks faster.

My experience is the exact opposite. I recently discovered I'd been wearing a size and a half too small, due to fallen arches. (It's very weird to have one's feet grow in adulthood.) I had been going through socks at an alarming rate; when I finally bought shoes that fit, the sock problem stopped. I definitely second the advice to have him professionally fitted for shoes.
posted by scratch at 6:29 AM on March 4, 2005


Steel toed shoes do it every time. My husband did the same thing until he quit wearing them, now he goes through socks at an almost normal rate.

I've found the opposite in Docs. I think their steel toed ones have a lot more wiggle room in the toe area, especially on the top. The little ridge where the steel ends doesn't hit on them (for me and the hubby at least) until right about where the toes join the foot.
Mine are the only shoes I have (other than some of those briefly-trendy bump toe ones) that don't hurt me after a few hours. I have the funky elf feet, too. So standard Docs may not help the problem.
posted by Kellydamnit at 10:59 AM on March 4, 2005


I wrote before about some socks I liked, but wrote the wrong name for them. They are called `Possum Walk' socks, and are at this website, along with many other good socks.
posted by tomble at 8:50 PM on March 5, 2005


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